Before Beaver Lake

Jill M. Rohrbach

Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas was the first of the impoundments created in Arkansas along the lengthy White River. The 28,370-acre lake was completed in 1966. We know it today as a place for relaxation and water recreation along with natural scenic beauty. Paved access roads wine through 12 developed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks. There are about 2,000 acres of campgrounds and more than 650 individual campsites. There are picnic sites, swimming beaches, hiking trails, boat launch ramps, sanitary dump stations, group picnic shelters, and amphitheaters. Marinas and outfitters are plentiful, as are cabins, resorts and other lodging along its 487 miles of shoreline highlighted by limestone bluffs.

But what was life like along this section of the White River before Beaver Dam was constructed? Find out at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 when Susan Young, outreach coordinator at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History presents her new program “Before Beaver” at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area in Rogers. Young will share rarely-seen images of the White River before the advent of Beaver Lake as she tells of life along the river’s banks.

The park visitor center is located on Ark. 12 just east of the Ark. 12/War Eagle Road intersection. The program is free, and is part of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series. Call 479-789-5000 for more information.

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